Some believe the Shawnee are descendants of the Fort
The term "Southerner" refers
to their position relative other Algonquian speakers.
They were the southernmost
Nation in Ohio.
The Shawnee had five divisions in their nation called
Shawnee people moved from place to place trying to find
a home. This caused constant fighting with other Native
groups and with European settlers.
By 1730 most Shawnee had returned to Ohio.
They had many settlements in Ohio in Fayette County
(near Bellefontaine), Logan County, Defiance County,
Ross County (near Circleville), Pickaway County and Miami
Famous Shawnee settlements are Wapakoneta in Auglaize
County (which is the present-day Wapakonetta), Chillicothe
The villages of the Shawnee were situated in such a
way that there was a trail of villages from near the
Ohio River all they to Fort Detroit in Michigan
Shawnee people were part of
the “Big Four” Nations
The Shawnee tried to remain neutral during the French
and Indian War but the British perceived them as enemies
and raided them. Shawnee Chief Pride was killed.
In 1755 they sent a delegation to Philadelphia to protest
loss of their land. The British hung them all.
A treaty was signed in 1785 in which the lands west
of the Allegheny were returned to the Natives. This was
generally ignored by the settlers. By 1774 there were
50,000 frontiersmen west of the Appalachians and competing
with the Natives for land.
Many Shawnee died of smallpox after the siege at Fort
Pitt in 1763.
1795 the Treaty of Greenville was signed by the Alliance.
This ceded all the Native land in Ohio except the northwest
- In 1846,
the Western Alliance was formed. The major goal was to
keep Native land for Native people.
In summer, the Shawnee gathered in large villages of
bark-covered houses and plank houses with a central gathering
place, or a Big House, for meetings and ceremonies.
Shawnee civil chieftainships were hereditary and held
Shawnee were patrilineal instead of matrilineal.
War chiefs were selected on the basis of skill.
Men hunted and protected the people.
Women took care of crops and children. According to
Simon Keaton, a famous frontiersman, in 1780 at the villages
of Kispoko and Pickaway, there were over 800 acres of
corn under hand cultivation.
Important ceremonies were often tied to agricultural
seasons such as the Green Corn Dance and the Fall Bread
Dance. These festivals were both serious and fun.
Men wore cloth shirts, breech cloths, leggings, moccasins,
frock coats and a lot of silver. Some men wore turbans
made of cloth and five-inch earrings.
- Women wore
hide dresses: one hide in front and one in back with
straps over the shoulder, and leggings and
moccasins. A third hide was worn poncho style. Later,
trade cloth and trade silver were highly prized.
Famous Chief — Cornstalk
Lord Dunmore’s 1,000 troops met with 1,000 Shawnee sent
by Chief Cornstalk at Point Pleasant in West Virginia.
The Shawnee were driven north across the Ohio River.
Cornstalk made a treaty with the Virginia officials.
- Cornstalk and his son traveled to Fort Randolph at Point
Pleasant to warn the Virginians they would be fighting
on the side of the British. They were both hung.
Famous Chief — Blue Jacket
- Took the place of Little Turtle. Had a disastrous defeat
at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
Famous Chief — Tecumseh
Tecumseh was born at the village of Kispoko near Springfield,
Ohio. His father was killed and his mother left him to
be raised by his older sister, Tecumpease. (Children
were often cared for by the whole community due to the
loss of male family members.)
Tecumseh was trying to reform an alliance to stop the
steadily encroaching settlers.
In the War of 1812 Tecumseh went to Canada to support
continued the fight after several retreats, but was mortally
wounded and died in 1813. With him died
the hope of a united resistance to the westward movement
Around 1813, the Shawnee of Ohio were given three reservations,
Wapaughkonetta, Hog’s Creek (near Ada) and a mixed reserve
of Mingo and Shawnee at Lewistown. In 1826, 200 Shawnee
followed the Prophet (Tecumseh’s brother) to Kansas.
The Removal Act of 1830 began to put more pressure on
the Natives of Ohio.
In 1831 the Lewistown Shawnee left for the Oklahoma
- In 1831
the final 400 Shawnee at Wapaughkonetta and Hogs Creek
left for Kansas.
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